About the Chorus

The Martha’s Vineyard Children’s Chorus is a nonprofit organization founded by Lisa Varno. The chorus’ mission is to unite students island-wide through song and to develop musicianship, self-confidence, and musical expression through developmentally appropriate vocal instruction.

Any interested singers from grades 1-8 are welcome to join this non-auditioned chorus! Weekly rehearsals are held in the MVRHS Choir Room and run for two semesters (January-May and September-December) followed by culminating concerts in May and December.

Our Lyric Choir (grades 1-3) will meet from 3:30-4:30 p.m. and our Concert Choir (grades 4-8) will meet from 4:30-5:30 p.m. We will perform together in our concerts and will rehearse together toward the end of the semester. Each singer will pay a nominal fee of $50 per semester.

We are a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and rely on your charitable donations for continued music making. If you would like to support our endeavor, please send your tax-deductible donation to Martha’s Vineyard Children’s Chorus, Inc. PO Box 1281, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 or click on the button below to donate electronically:

About the Directors

Lisa Varno, M.M.Ed.                                     Founder, Executive Director/Artistic Director

Lisa Varno, M.M.Ed.                                    

Founder, Executive Director/Artistic Director

Lisa Varno has been a music educator for students ranging from pre-school through high school. She taught choral music and general music for eight years in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania public schools and directed numerous choruses ranging in size from ten singers to 300. Aside from her public school experience, she served as the Associate Conductor of the Gordon College Children’s Choir, Assistant Conductor of the Northshore Youth Symphony Orchestra Chorale, Girls’ Chorus Manager of the MMEA Northeastern Junior District Festival, and Assistant Director of Choruses for the Gordon College Summer Music Academy. She has also been actively involved in her community and established several church choirs. Lisa was an active mentor for several years through Embracing the New Music Educator, and has hosted numerous student teachers from Gordon College, Gettysburg College, and Messiah College. She is intent to establish a mentor relationship with MVRHS students interested in a profession in music education and would welcome students to shadow Martha’s Vineyard Children’s Chorus rehearsals.

Lisa earned a Master of Music in Music Education from The Hartt School, University of Hartford, and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Gordon College. She is a recipient of the PAMLE Promising Educator Award, and she received two consecutive years of Distinguished Ratings through the PDE teacher evaluation system for teacher effectiveness.

Griffin McMahon, Accompanist

Born and raised in western Massachusetts, Griffin McMahon is a graduate of The Juilliard School and currently lives on Martha's Vineyard. He serves as Music Director and Organist at St. Andrew's Church in historic downtown Edgartown on the island and regularly travels for performances. Griffin is a passionate music educator and has taught piano lessons since his young teenage years as well as extensive work as pianist and vocal coach for children's musical theater productions. Highlights of the recent season include performances at St. John the Divine, performing Saint-Saens' "Organ" Symphony No. 3 with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, and an unique outdoor organ performance at the Eaux Claires Music Festival in August 2016, curated by Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and The National's Aaron Dessner.

Griffin McMahon is emerging as a unique and versatile organist / pianist, vocalist, music educator, and avid collaborator in the American music scene. Equally at home in the worlds of classical and popular music, Griffin has performed at diverse venues ranging from concert halls like Alice Tully Hall (Lincoln Center), Mechanics Hall and the Kimmel Center to the Eaux Claires Music Festival and Brooklyn Bowl. He has performed several times on the world's largest functioning pipe organ, the Wanamaker Organ in Philadelphia. In 2014, Griffin performed in a historic eighteen-hour complete organ works of Bach marathon concert at St. Peter's Church in New York City, live-streamed by WQXR radio to thousands of listeners. His performances have been broadcast on national radio syndicates such as the “Wanamaker Organ Hour" on WRTI, "Pipedreams" on American Public Media, and WQXR, New York's Classical Music Radio Station.


Board of Directors

  • Karen Lobdell, President
  • Marc Favreau, Treasurer
  • Jenny Friedman, Clerk